Skip to main content

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 15, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

5:00 pm
and there's an exhaustive search for a little boy we are praying is safe right now. >> indeed. quite an odyssey and something a lot of us never imagined we would ever see before. a runaway balloon with apparently a little boy on board, at least in the beginning. now a frantic search under way. in ft. collins and to the south, 90 miles to the south in denver, for any sign of what may have happened to this boy and trying to understand better, of course, what was the family intending with this balloon to begin with? on behalf of tamron hall, i'm david shuster. have you been watching live, extended coverage of a story that many of you and many of us will never forget. our coverage continues with chris matthews and "hardball." "hardball" with chris starts right now. blocking the rush. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington.
5:01 pm
leading off tonight, sacked. rush limbaugh, a man who traffics in words, has learned the important lesson, words count. rush's words, his racially insensitive and inflammatory words, knocked him out as a potential nfl owner. the master of the righteous indignation blames many for his failure, including the president of the united states and the democratic party implying that it takes large forces indeed to bring down so grand a man as he. plus, wall street rises, bonuses for everyone. billion dollar profits. how is it that the same incompetence, greed and arrogance that brought the near collapse of our financial system last year and cost us trillions to bail out ended up getting so richly rewarded? now with unemployment still rising, with people making less money, working fewer hours, we learned that wall street is getting ready for a record payday. $140 billion in bonus income, more than during the boom times
5:02 pm
before the near collapse. what's going on? we bail these people out, and they reward themselves with record bonuses. at long last, we have no shame. jim cramer joins us tonight on "hardball." and the next time you get on a plane, do you want the least expensive pilot the airline can afford flying the plane? chesley sully sullenberger doesn't think so. he's the hero pilot that landed his plane in the hudson river last winter, and he said it's gotten so bad for pilots, that he used to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along to eat in the cockpit while smelling the fine cooking wafting from first class. we will be with us to talk about airline safety. and also, hillary clinton after a year living without politics finds herself more popular than the guy who beat her last year. you want to know why? well, it's about not having to face the lions. that's in the "politics fix." finally, bo ideal? a young fellow just back from iraq has his eyes on dad's old job. could be interesting. we've got that in the "sideshow." let's start with limbaugh.
5:03 pm
dumped by the group seeking to buy the st. louis rams. the reverend al sharpton was critical of limbaugh's potential involvement with the rams. and pat buchanan is an msnbc political analyst. boy, you've got your game face on still, reverend. what do you think, was this a good sack? was this the right thing to do to help knock this guy out of contention as a potential co-owner of an nfl team? >> yes, i do. i think that it started when the players themselves objected to it based on the fact that mr. limbaugh had made certain statements such as saying that the nfl now looked like the crypts and the bloods without weapons, making derogatory statements against donovan mcnabb. and i think that if you want to be an nfl owner, you have to be accountable for what you say about those that generate the money in that league. and i think that mr. limbaugh, who has made a career out of holding people accountable, had to be accountable to his own statements, and i think he ultimately was.
5:04 pm
let's remember here, chris, his name was withdrawn by those that submitted his name. the nfl, nobody disqualified him. they withdrew his name, so he can have all of these grandiose ideas of a conspiracy. what sacked him was the people that brought him to the party withdrew him from the party. >> let's go over this. i know he made the comment about the teams acting like the the crypts and blood, acting like an l.a. street gang against another l.a. street gang. i get that. he said he said the wrong words by suggesting names of gangs that are, i believe, mainly african-american. but here's the question, he also made other comments about donovan mcnabb over the years. i remember that comment saying that the press was in love with the guy because he's an african-american but he really wasn't that good a quarterback. well, people who watch the nfl can make their own mind up about that situation. seems like mcnabb's winning that argument. but are there any other statements he's made over his long radio career? he's on about three hours a day every day. can you add up more than those two comments that might be called insensitive at least?
5:05 pm
>> i mean, there probably are, but i don't think they're material here. those are the two i raised to the nfl. those are the ones the nfl players raised. we're not talking about his politics here or even his racial views. we're talking about he's asking to be part of an ownership of a team that will vote on the decisions of nfl contracts for players, vendors, stadium workers, and what he says about that industry is pregnant. i think they're trying to broaden the argument, it's a very narrow argument, about the nfl and about the privilege of being part of the ownership. he has the right to apply. he does not have the right to be an owner. that's up to the nfl. but what happened here is the people that were bringing him in decided to withdraw him. and i think that all of these other implications really don't deal with the fact that the people that thought he was an asset began to think he was a liability. he's trying now to make this like this is some wounding of
5:06 pm
american conservativism. he was rejected by his own partners ultimately. >> let's take a look at this from another point of view, pat buchanan. >> yeah, i think his act was shabby, vindictive, petty. it is disgusting in this sense. chris, you and i have made controversial statements to reverend al sharpton and the brawly hoax case and duke case which turned out to be a hoax, we made statements to regret and apologize for. but in this case to black list an individual like they do out in hollywood because they thought they were communist that cost them their jobs because of something they said. those folks did terrible things. to do this this rush limbaugh. look, i heard his statements on donovan mcnabb. when they went in the think tank, journalists went in the tank over barack obama. did that disqualify us from a job? he was wrong about mcnabb. mcnabb had a great season this year, so he made a wrong statement. you deny a man a position like
5:07 pm
that, this is black listing in my judgment. it's contemptible. liberals used to condemn it. >> first of all, i felt -- and still do -- that barack obama inspired me in that campaign. >> i'm not talking about you. >> in the tank if you want. i'll stand by my words. here we are in that regard. let's take a look -- she can respond as well. reverend? >> yes, first of all, i had nothing to do with the duke case. again, let's not rewrite history. hi nothing to do with the duke case. and my representing someone 22 years ago is certainly at lot different at some making statements about someone if he's going to say something about my employment, i don't want him involved. if someone wants to take a deposition, they have a right to take a deposition against you, me or pat buchanan. i don't know how you miss apples and oranges. those players had a right to raise a question about what he said about them. >> i'm not saying they don't have a right to do it. i'm commenting about what they did. reverend sharpton, if you were
5:08 pm
part of a group that was going to buy a baseball team, don't think conservatives in that country would say, no, let's cut that fellow out because of what he said 20 years ago or what he said down there in louisiana in that case -- >> i do. >> look, i don't think they would stop you. >> pat, i think conservatives try to hold barack obama responsible for what his former pastor said, not what even he said. how are you saying that? we saw a whole year where barack obama was questioned about everything his former pastor said for 20 years on whether he was qualified to be president of the united states. we can't ask rush limbaugh about what he said himself? not his pastor, not his former pastor. what he said. >> sure. >> what do you mean, gentlemen? here's what rush limbaugh said about reverend sharpton earlier himself. >> i snow reverend sharpton. sharpton's better than this. he knows better than this. you know, i didn't judge al sharpton's fitness to be in
5:09 pm
radio when he wanted to earn an honest living for once. given his well documented past, the author of the brolley hoax, i believe in second chances, and i also don't discriminate. >> pat? >> i think rush makes a very good point. i have condemned reverend sharpton over the years and criticized what he said. i have written columns about him. i'm sure he said things about me. but the idea of going after people the way they're making a living. chris, the real problem? america is not rush limbaugh or chris matthews or pat buchanan or al sharpton, it is censorship. it is people trying to silence people, to cost them their profession, their jobs, because of what they said. even michael savage, people go over the line. what we ought to be standing up for is the right of people to speak their minds and make their living. this is so petty, i can't believe it. >> let's take a look at what rush said about the nfl. let's let rush limbaugh get in there one more time. here's rush limbaugh and what he
5:10 pm
had to say about the envelope nx. let's listen. >> it's about rush more than me. this is just the latest assault on people who believe in rugged individualism and liberty and freedom who threaten the whole notion of state-controlled tyranny and the central command authority. which is what is typified by the obama administration. and now the democrat party. >> that's the question, rever d reverend. and you're as wise as anybody at this table, obviously. you can make a judgment. is this about words? you mentioned two statements he made as objectionable. fair enough. would those statements as objectionable as they are the basis for denying someone a chance to make a major economic investment in a pro football team, yes or no? those two statements alone, you seem to imply that they were disqualifying. >> no. what the answer is, he was not disqualified. he was withdrawn. if in fact he and his partners
5:11 pm
felt so strongly about it, his partners should have fought all the way to the nfl and see if he was qualified or not. just like they had the right to apply, we had the right to say we oppose the application. he had the right to go forward. >> reverend, did you oppose -- >> you're trying to misconstrue what happened here. >> no, no. you're taking your own responsibility aside. i'm saying you're a powerful voice in this country. when you speak out, let's face it, the buildings shake. people do listen to you. you had a lot to do with the noise level here. certainly the players association was determinant because they are the value of the guys on the field who make the money for these owners. yeah, we know that. but you got out there and joined their case. are you saying right now that you think rush limbaugh should have been allowed to buy part of that team or not? what do you think, in your judgment, based on those two statements by him. >> i think in my judgment, if rush limbaugh was part of a group that was competing with other groups, and the other groups were able to show that they could do it financially and they had not made offensive statements against the players
5:12 pm
that generate the money, then i would have ruled for the other groups because i think what rush limbaugh did would be something that would be detrimental in competing with other groups. you got to remember, this was a bidding process. >> those two statements is all i'm asking. those two statements you say disqualified him in your right? >> in my light, i would have voted against him if i was one of the other owners and some of the other owners did. >> that's the point here. >> look, he wasn't engaged in dogfighting. he wasn't engaged in shooting himself in the leg. the other guys have been arrested, implicated in murders. everyone says give him a second chance, let him play in the nfl. and because he said some sportswriter cut slacks for donovan mcnabb, maybe they did or maybe they didn't, the idea this was a moral disqualification, what kind of moral community is the nfl owners? >> many of us supported that michael vick should have been held accountable for dogfighting and plaxico. so we had the right to say that donovan mcnabb -- i mean that
5:13 pm
michael vick was wrong but we didn't have the right to saw mr. limbaugh was wrong? >> why not cutting some lack? let vick play now. he did his time. >> pat, we're not talking about him losing his job on the radio. no one is saying he shouldn't be on the air. no one is saying he shouldn't have a job. we're saying he shouldn't be an owner of a team and not deal with what he said. we're not attacking his livelihood. >> what did you say about don imus? didn't you say he should be taken off the air? >> we're saying sponsors should not underwrite -- we're saying sponsors should not underwrite what he said. sponsors agree. they withdrew him. >> you are campaigning to get this guy knocked off the air for two hours in the morning. >> and don imus, you're absolutely right. he should have been fired. don imus would be the best witness for us in this case. he said it himself, he should have been fired. >> are you proud of what did you in that case? >> especially after don imus said i was right, absolutely.
5:14 pm
i think he learned his lesson. >> well, this is a hot issue. thank you, reverend sharpton, as always, sir. thank you for coming on. i think you were a big part in this issue. i think you demur on your authority. i think it's wrong. you carry a lot of weight in this country, and you know it. thank you for coming on this program. coming up -- wall street greed nearly destroyed our financial system last year, and now the whiz kids of wall street are raking it in, taking record pay as millions of regular folks struggle to make ends meet. by the way, nobody's getting a cola for social security this year. these guys are getting that money. we're ask cnbc's jim cramer about that little fix. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. (announcer) we understand. you want faster ground shipping. be aware of your surroundings. don't ignore obvious signs.
5:15 pm
stay hydrated at all times. get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. ♪ and don't worry-- lots of people live active lives with asthma. answers and advice to help you get well and stay well. walgreens. there's a way to stay well. learn more at coming up -- a real american hero, captain dhesly "sully" sullenberger who landed a jetliner in the hudson river and saved the lives of all of the passengers. he's coming on "hardball" to talk about pilots and how they're underpaid and the hell that's going on in the sky.
5:16 pm
this can only end one way. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it.
5:17 pm
5:18 pm
welcome back to "hardball." here's what "the wall street journal" reported wednesday. quote, major u.s. banks and security firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year, a record high that shows compensation is rebounding despite regulatory scrutiny of wall street's pay culture. workers of 23 top investment banks, hedge funds and stock commodities can expect to earn more than they did the peak year of 2007, according to analysis by the journal. with us now, host of "mad money" and jim cramer's "getting back to even." a lot of people think we never get to even in this country, jim. they feel they love the way people like money. they love a guy like lee iacocca or steven spielberg or anybody that can make something they imagine being made, even if it's a service. they get it. what they don't understand is why people make billions of dollars off of money. up on wall street, do these guys -- this is a fundamental question, do they add to
5:19 pm
american life, the people making money in hedge funds, on derivatives, on things we can't understand? are they helping us or just making money off the top? >> i worked at goldman sachs, and i can tell you unequivocally, not helping at all, not one bit. >> so why do we have all of this money manipulation or money, money, money expotential money making based on what? let me ask you this -- what good does a derivative to, securitizing of these mortgages and all of that stuff? all of the money that's being made seems to be made in an ether which most of us don't even know where to go to our gps our way to? what's going on? >> let me give you their side of things. >> that's what i want. >> there are not attacks on the system but i think it's fair to say they shuffle paper really well. they take a cut of every deal. but the deals tend to be done by real company that's create things and we need to have a krupy to make these cards travel.
5:20 pm
and what's a shame is they do so much more than than the people doing the business. a derivative, yes, it's a bit like an insurance contract where i want to be able to insure my house from fire. but the problem with a derivative contract is i can insure your house for fire and then set it on fire and then get paid. >> let me ask you about this question of money making. we thought that everybody was going down after this big crash almost last year at this time. and there was a sense that even the big guys suffered a bid. everybody took a 30%, 30-something percent cut, everybody struggling with a 401 k all the way to the top. everyone said that's okay. everybody took a loss. good. now we see people making $140 billion, i know it's part of their income, but bonuses. we learning goldman made $3 trillion, $3 billion. and this kind of money shocks people because this year everybody over 65 watching this year is not getting a cost of living adjustment, no raise period. so there's a sense of vast inequality out there. your reaction as a guy who knows the business.
5:21 pm
>> it is. these are obscene bonuses. i felt that the government should have done with all of the banks like it did with citigroup, which is to get the average guy a share of citi. remember, the government owned 34% of citigroup. the government is up billions of dollars. why did the government not take stakes that it held on to with all of these guys, given the fact that once the competitors got knocked out, the goldmans, the morgans, jpmorgans, could make a fortune. we should have had a stake in them that we could then return to the american people and create jobs with. but we let them make their money without being along for the ride. that was a mistake, chris. >> is there any provision in t.a.r.p., that awfully named acronym from last year at this time, where they gave away the $700 billion, is there any string in there that the government can pull now and say, give me back the money we lent? are they going to get it back, the federal budget, the flal treasury? >> i think the federal treasury, i think the president should be demanding that all of these banks raise money that haven't returned it -- remember, goldman did return it and jpmorgan. >> right. >> but to raise the money in the
5:22 pm
public markets, the stock market's going up, pure as 10,000, and say you give us our money back right now or we're going to raise the interest. because every bank is making a lot of money here, chris. i don't want to hear, it's still a fragile time. they all say that. the american people deserve to cash in on these banks. and we're not doing it. we're not pressing the banks for our own cut. >> okay. let's talk about banker economics now. the average person out there is worrying about the unemployment rate. it's up there knocking at about 10%. just at a time we're going over 10,000 in the dow. that drives a lot of people crazy. the dow's going over 10. unemployment looks like it's going over 10. why the wrong-way occurigan? why the market coming back and unemployment still rise something. >> we are seeing a lot of upticks in retail sales. auto sales are actually better than we thought. >> are we going to have a good holiday? is it going to be black friday like they said in philly on the day after thanksgiving? are they going to make money or not? >> you bet ya. a lot of makers will be jibbed. we're going to see a very good
5:23 pm
holiday season. september was very strong. october was extremely strong. we're going to surprise -- america will surprise each other. we are going to have a very strong holiday season, and that's across the board, whether it be from macy's or home depot or saks or target or family dollar. we're spending, and we actually have some money and we're starting to feel a little more secure. >> will that auger well for a reduction in the unemployment rate next year? that's the only number most of us in the news business and most of us think about. the unemployment vrate is at 9.. will it go above 10 or drop below 8 or 7 by next election? will it go down below 8 or 7 by next october? >> we're not creating enough jobs. that will not happen. >> so next halloween will be bad for the dems? >> i think that unless they create some real jobs, a $2.2 trillion infrastructure bill would be a lot better than we go. chris, the democrats will get hurt badly.
5:24 pm
because we're not creating jobs. there's a prosperity for a small group of people, not enough to go around, alnd there's no job creation. it is a profitable period for many companies, and it's not creating any jobs. >> where did the $800 billion go in the stimulus bill? >> well, i think a lot of it went to state and local governments. a lot of it went to people who actually have the kind of tenure that most workers would like. people who work for governments. >> exactly where it went. it went to pay off -- so the mayors wouldn't go broke and they wouldn't have to go with layoffs. thank you. >> thank you. >> and it went to pay off old bills. thank you. jim, it didn't create new jobs. i don't smell construction. >> not at all. >> jim cramer. it's great having you on. you can watch "mad money" week nights at 6:00 and 11:00 eastern on cnbc. up next -- someone's much more popular than the guy who beat her last year. you know, when you get out of the lien of fire, it's funny how you warm up the public. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. national car rental? that's my choice.
5:25 pm
because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro.
5:26 pm
5:27 pm
5:28 pm
back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." first up, in harm's way. nbc's andrea mitchell gave an interview to rachel maddow talking about the inequality of opportunity back in the news business during the three mile island episode back in '79. in the first week of that nuclear disaster, turns out andrea's boss, the bureau chief, sent out all of the male reporters to cover that event but the only two women reporters were cut out of the action. so here's what andrea and her colleague did. >> so finally friday night came, and we marched into his office and said, why is it that we're the only two correspondents that have not been sent? and the bureau chief says, because you're women of child bearing age, and we don't know how bad the radiation is. and i said, has it occurred to you that men's balls are as vulnerable as women's ovaries?
5:29 pm
this was back in the '70s when no one talked that way. >> and his response was? >> i got sent the next day. >> god, anyway, no comment there. next up, wagging the dog. remember when the politicians were the leaders and the commentators on radio and tv just followed along commenting? remember when the elected officials were the real leaders? well, guess what, to get ahead in republican politics these days, an elected official needs to act more like a radio talk jock, you know, say crazy, over-the-top stuff. check out the career arc of minnesota's michele bachmann. shay has a profile on the front page of today's "new york times" about the fold with the headline, gop has a lightning wrong and her name is not palin. "the times" highlights her outlandish comments on "hardball" last year when the congresswoman said she was very concerned that mr. obama, quote, may have anti-american views. by the way, she also called on the media during that "hardball" interview to investigate congressional democrats for what
5:30 pm
she called anti-american views. well, this apparently is the right stuff as far as the right is concerned these days. if you want to rise in the party, get on the front page of "the new york times," forget the boring, legislative grind of being an actual member of congress, you know, somebody who does something. just get out on the air and say stuff that makes you sound as wild as the radio commentators. finally, bo ideal? beau biden, son of the vice president, has just gotten back from a one-year tour of duty in iraq with the delaware national guard. in his first tv interview since getting home, he talked about expectations that he will run for his father's senate seat in delaware. >> you have a big republican that's looking to run for this seat that was held by your father. when do you make the decision? i won't put you on the spot too much, but when do you have to make that decision wlf you run for senate? >> you know, i've been away from my family for a year. first thing's first. i'm going to keep holding onto that guy you saw on the tv screen, and my daughter natalie, who's probably mad she's not on the tv, and then get back to my
5:31 pm
job as the attorney general of delaware. am i looking forward to my job, absolutely. but i'll be making a decision in due course. >> at this rate, little old delaware's going to be one of the most exciting races in the country this year if it's an iraq vet and 71-year-old. tonight's big number, by the way, hearkens back to the late, great democratic battle between hillary clinton and barack obama. as the country's senior stateswoman now, hillary clinton has taken herself out of the political fray. she's no longer building up scar tissue from bruising battles over domestic policy like health care and unemployment. and it shows. back in january, barack obama's poll ratings were sky high at 78%, while hillary's were lower, a still respectable 65%. after bruising battles on health care, the president is now hovering at 56%. where's hillary? 62%, higher than the guy who beat her. hillary's favorability, up to 62% and rising. likable. well, likable enough, in fact more than likable enough right now, tonight's "big number." up next -- the next time you
5:32 pm
fly, do you want a pilot up there in that pilot seat that's the cheapest pilot the airline could find? obviously, that's a rhetoric question, if you will. not me. the pilot of that u.s. airlines jetliner that made a miracle landing on the hudson river, captain chesley "sully" sullenberger doesn't think that's a good idea to go with the cheapest. he's going to be sitting right there. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
5:33 pm
the sea salts of the world vary in color, taste, and intensity. now campbell's has found one that tops them all. it's naturally flavorful. adding it helps us use less salt than before in campbell's tomato soup. that famous, familiar flavor, as delicious as ever. now with less salt. thanks to a very special sea salt. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪
5:34 pm
5:35 pm
i'm david shuster. an intense search continues right now in colorado for a missing 6-year-old boy. falcon heene was believed to have been inside this helium balloon constructed by his father when it came untethered earlier today at the family home in ft. collins. the balloon drifted for two hours, reaching an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet before helium seeped out and the craft drifted
5:36 pm
downwards. it eventually landed 45 miles from the southeast of the reservoir. authorities believe the 6-year-old boy climbed into a box-like apartment attached to the balloon and went missing when it landed. authorities are investigating numerous reports of something falling off the balloon in flight. in this picture, can you see something falling off the balloon. his father is an amateur scientist and storm chaser who participated in a reality show last year called "wife swap." the family has not released a statement today on the missing family member or ongoing search. i'm david shuster. now back to chris matthews and "hardball." we're back to "hardball." and a rare personal honor for me, a man sitting in front of me one of the rarities, captain sullenberger. of course, he safely piloted his
5:37 pm
disabled jet on the hudson river, lasting it last winter. look at this picture. passengers and crew all made it. what a scene. it took, well, cool courage under fire. i think hemingway called it, what, grace under pressure. good work, captain. >> thanks, chris. good to be here. >> i want to be on your plane. anyway, you logged more than 19,000 hours of flying time at the controls. joining us now is the man. the name of the book "highest duty." you're very proud of this book, right? >> it was a labor of love. the love of a book that was already in me. hi a lifetime of stories to tell and about not only the event but about my life leading up to the event prepared me for the event and the aftermath. >> what is it like to get into a plane -- i have flown a lot. i am flying tonight out west. when you get to a place, is there an adrenaline rush or is it just like being an old pro and no change in the blood pressure? will you go up to 39,000 feet and you're in charge. the weather could be awful. do you have a different attitude about the weather when you're going up there? is it going to be a tough night? is it going to be an easy night? >> you know what, we have
5:38 pm
different levels of alertness, and we're aware of everything going on around us and we take great pride in knowing exactly what the most important thing to be paying attention to at any given moment of the flight is. so when it gets harder or more challenging, we just pay more attention to different things. >> you know when i get up there, when i'm not praying in an airplane when there's turbulence, i always try to look at the eye of the flight attendant to see if they're bored and it's the same old job, or if they're just getting the food out or just doing something. if i see anything that looks like nervousness, then i am very nervous. is the flight attendant a pretty good guide to how tricky it is? >> absolutely. in fact, one of the things i talk about in my book that on january 15th, not only did we have the luxury of having the very well seasoned business travelers as passengers but we had a highly experienced, highly trained flight attendant crew, and i think they, by exiting a calm, professional demeanor, kept the cabin calm. >> but i don't want to hear that. i want to know if it's really dangerous up there, they're going to show it somehow with their eyes ticking up and down
5:39 pm
or something. i had one flight attendant, we went through one of those shearing instances down here in carolina years ago, my wife and i. when the drinks were hitting ceiling. she's sitting next to me. she was flying as a passenger on the plane. she said we're about to go into a tailspin. that was her comment. so i have been through some hairy situations. have you ever been one of those shearing situations, where the plane dropped a couple thousand feet? >> no, i have not. >> i have been there. >> keep your seat belt fastened. >> of course. let's talk about the thing we love to talk about. i want to talk trouble with you. and i want to talk about american life right now. when i get on a plane, i want to know that the guy or woman up front flying that plane know what's they're doing. i want a pro up there. like if i'm being operated on, right? >> exactly. >> are we putting the best people up in those cockpits now, are or we putting the cheapest people up there? >> well, you wouldn't want your surgeon to be the lowest bidder. i had the great luxury on january 15th of flying with jeffrey exile s
5:40 pm
january 15th of flying with jeffrey exilekiles. he like i had 20,000 hours of flying time. he had been the staff like i with staff reinstructions. he knew exactly what to do the same as i did. it's important we have experience in both seats. this house bill that was passed yesterday will increase the level of experience in both seats of airliners going forward. it's going to require for the first time that both pilots, and not just the captain, have an airline transport pilot certificate. >> and 1,500 hours. >> 1,500 hours. >> not 200? >> not 250. that's a good step. but there are still issues that we need to do. and my message is really very simple. i spent my life learning what makes aviation safer, and i've learned that economics and safety do have a linkage. and one of the reasons historically we have been able to make aviation so safe is that many of the airline operators have chosen to greatly exceed the faa bare bones minimums in many areas. now under this time of great economic financial hardship, with tremendous cost pressures, we're seeing some of those extra margins being cut.
5:41 pm
i also think that if we keep pilots' salaries this low, we may not be able to in the future attract the best and the brightest. if this were an easy job, then anybody -- anybody could do it. >> what does a pilot make who flies one of these big planes across the country, 150, 200 a year? >> some of the higher ranges are. >> that's high. >> that's high. >> once in a while, because i'm in the business i'm in and i love this job, i meet people and i'm very approachable. people come up to me and they tell me, we get screwed. they took away our pensions. i have been checking it out, some of the producers have checked it out. some of the guys have got rid of, your airline, united delta, some of these guys eliminated vested pensions. >> oh, i know. what airlines have been going through now, airline employees have been going through for eight years or more, certainly since the september 2001 terror attacks. >> losing your pensions. >> absolutely. i have taken a 40% pay cut. i lost my pension. it's been replaced by a pennies
5:42 pm
on the dollar ppg guarantee, and i was a captain and managed to stay a captain. people like jeffrey skiles who were a captain and went back to first officer took about a 60% pay cut. >> what's this thing about how you smell the food, the nice food cooking in first class and you're eating a peanut butter sandwich. >> in the book, i brown bag it. i told you that in the book. >> why don't they let you have one of the meals? >> they don't board a meal for us. >> but i see this -- the flight attendants walking into the captain's -- into the cockpits with meals or coffee. don't they bring the meal to you? >> on some airlines they still board meals for the crew. occasionally if there's food left in back, on rare occasions if the flight attendant don't eat it first, they offer it to the pilots. >> in other words, if everybody says i want my meal, you guys go hungry. >> you have it bring your own. >> it's unbelievable. when did that start? >> that's been going on several years. >> so when you're flying, for example, from washington to l.a., which i'm doing that tonight, you're going to do that on a peanut butter and jelly
5:43 pm
sandwich? >> hopefully i will have time to get something better in the terminal and pay for it. >> but you don't get the free meal? >> no. >> what is this to have pilots xrezed down in salary and retirement plans. at some point have you to quit and you have to face the pension as your main source of income. it's going to keep people flying longer than they should, right? right? >> yes. they just raised the retirement age about two years ago from 60 to 65. it will give more people to have say chance to have a little bit more years of earning power. but i lost my pension when i was in my 50s with very little time to make it up. >> what are you going to do about it? you're selling a book now but you're ararity. >> it's amazing the extreme to which i had to personally go to try to make up some of what we have lost as an industry. so i'm the first priority for me is to take care of my family, rebuild my pension, rebuild my kids' college funds. >> yeah. i thought united was an employee-owned firm, one of the firms that's employee owned now. >> united i think was for a while. >> but did that -- did they screw the pilots there, too,
5:44 pm
when they goat t to vote on it. >> i don't work for united. >> i know. you work for usair. >> all of the airlines, with a few exceptions, continental and american, to keep. >> this is depressing. >> northwest froze -- >> you know what, rib that movie, what's his name, leonardo derap rio played in the early '60s -- >> "catch me if you can." >> the airline pilots were shot. everybody was cool. there was a lot of proud. everybody wanted to be a flid atte flight attendant. used to call them stewardesses. is that still the case? >> i don't know a single pilot who wants their children falling in their footsteps. and that concerns me. this is a profession i care about and i love. we cant forward to have the safety trend going in the right direction. we have to continue to make new investments and invest. s not only in technology, investments not only in the system but in people. >> you got any good news besides you exist? >> jeff skiles is out there.
5:45 pm
>> let's talk about this book. a romantic story of what it's like to be a great pilot and what it's like to have been through all of those -- how many years -- how many hours? >> 20,000 hours, 42 years flying, almost 30 at the airline. >> a lot of stories, and they're all in here. and you were just dying to tell them. >> thank you, chris. >> i'm glad you were a hero for everybody on that plane and for all of us. it does inspire me. sometimes i think the squares are the really good guys. like you, you're a square. up next -- so hillary clinton's more popular than barack obama. what kind of world is this? just kidding. we're going to get into that in the "politics fix." this is "hardball" only on msnbc.
5:46 pm
coming up -- a year later, will wall street greed destroy our economic system? we have wind. we have solar, obviously. we have lots of oil. i think natural gas is part of the energy mix of the future. i think we have the can-do. we have the capability. we have the technology. the solutions are here. we just need to find them here.
5:47 pm
how many washes did it take cheer brightclean to get this from dingy to bright? ten. seven. it's six. why? why is... one... yeah! hundred. no. cheer brightclean. hey thanks for the window seat. oh please. you got the presentation? oh yeah right here. let me stow that for you, sir. thank you. you know, just to be safe i used fedex office print online. oh you did? yeah -- they printed and bound 20 copies of the presentation, shipped it to portland, they're gonna be there waiting for us. that's a good idea. yeah. you have a nice flight. thank you. (announcer) print upload your document -- we'll take care of the rest.
5:48 pm
100 years of engineering excellence is right on time. it's gmc truck month. shop sierra 1500 slt with the 403 horsepower 6.2 liter v8. it's the most powerful half ton v8 in its class. step up to the best. it's gmc truck month. get 0% apr for 60 months on 2009 gmc sierra or get $6,000 total cash back on select 09 sierra 1500 extended and crew cabs in stock. see your gmc dealer today.
5:49 pm
we're back in time for the "politics fix" with ruben from the "san diego union tribune" and ann cornbluth from "the washington post." thank you very much. we're going to talk about something i am going to surprise with you, it shows hillary clinton beating barack obama 62/56. it's very authentic, 62/56. big change from the beginning of the year when she was way down from him. you're thoughts on this. is this about duty? is this about getting out of the line of fire politically? what is this about? >> well, look, it is about duty in part. she has decided to announce that she's not going to run again and i think she wants to change the subject. i think she wants to convince people. she says it in one interview and then another. >> so it's tactical? >> no, i think she actually
5:50 pm
means it. i have interviewed people around here and some are divided, they're divided. some people think she's temporary, short term, she's focused on her job. other people think no, she means it. >> is she playing possum? you know what that means. >> pretending she's not going to run? >> yeah. >> i think it's possible she's going to change her mind. >> you're a good reader of her. you have written a book about it. do you think that she is an authentic person when it comes to her career sense right now, where she's headed? >> i think she's not being coy. she's a politician. >> i thought it was so staggering and so unnecessary, ruben, i was blown away from sa statement, retirement. no politician retires. their idea of retirement is joining a law firm and knocking out op-ed pieces for newspapers. i think ed musky was the last guy to walk from the business. >> i believe she's going to back away from it but never say never in this business. i think this poll is about something else, about buyer's
5:51 pm
remorse on the part of liberal democrats disappointed with obama on many fronts. if he signs the baucus bill without a public option, you'll see a big uproar. likewise on immigration. >> wait a minute, you're use thing as an opportunity to make a case here. this has nothing to do with hillary or barack, it has to do with you. you are making the case that you don't like this bill without a public option. so i will now jam you, sir, since you exposed yourself. how does he not sign the bill? the bill sits in front of him, he signs it or not. you're saying don't sign it? >> here's what i like -- >> you're saying don't sign it? >> if you want health care reform, don't sign it. i'm saying don't call it health care reform if it isn't. i'm against the idea of a public option, but what i find interesting is this idea that the left is saying we're not going to support a bill without a public option.
5:52 pm
they may even turn against him if he signs this. the civil libertarians are upset. his anti-terror policy looks just like the bush administration's anti-terror policy. >> by the way, bottom line, they can't count. it takes 60 votes in the senate and 21 in the house. you tell me how to get a public option in the senate, how do you do it? >> very good point. i read the editorial in "the new york times." >> it's reality. >> i hear you. there are a lot of pundits out there who don't have to worry about getting a head count in the senate and they say why not put a public option in there? you do that and you live olympia snowe. >> and 30 democrats. 30 democrats out of 60. only 30 said they're for the public option. >> there's no chance of it at this point, no. >> that's why they stopped
5:53 pm
talking about reconciliation and doing it with 50 because they only had 30. hillary clinton, she has committed to this job of secretary of state. she's got fine people around her. you talked to chris hill in iraq, incredibly smart, hard-working people. and also until this issue came along of afghanistan, not even a bit of light between her and the president. >> that's right. what's interesting about her and afghanistan, we 'heard a lot of different points of view. we know why the vice president is. we know why general mccrystal is. we don't know where secretary clinton is. we know she and defense secretary gates see eye to eye, but she's been playing her cards very close to her vest. it seems like she'll come down in the middle. >> does she still have those people around her that does all the leaking? >> it's not a political campaign anymore. >> she got rid of those people
5:54 pm
anymore? >> it's not a political team. >> we'll be right back about something that's really divisive in this country. that's the huge amount of money being made on wall street. you're watching "hardball." ? if you're using other moisturizing body washes, you might as well be. you see, their moisturizer sits on top of skin, almost as if you're wearing it. only new dove deep moisture has nutriummoisture, a breakthrough formula with natural moisturizers... that can nourish deep down. it's the most effective natural nourishment ever. new dove deep moisture with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin. crunch. wheat thins. that's what's gonna happen here. because you're tasty... with toasty whole grains. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it. crunch. well, say you're looking afor it in new places,.
5:55 pm
like working with a supplier in china and a manufacturer in germany to reach new customers in the u.s. well, ups can help bring it all together with efficient solutions like paperless invoice that can help make customs a breeze. hey, the opportunities are out there. seize them with ups. you know, it's hard drawing those perfect circles. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance,
5:56 pm
may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm dan weston. we're experts at getting you the scooter or power chair you need. in fact, if we pre-qualify you for medicare reimbursement and medicare denies your claim, we'll give you your new power chair or scooter free. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today. call the number on your screen for free information.
5:57 pm
we're back with ruben and ann for more of the "politics fix." ruben, we're going to sing the same song. what do you think of the fact
5:58 pm
that the people on wall street made $140 billion spread around, than they made before they almost crashed. here's larry summers, a very smart guy, trying to explain it. i say trying. >> is there anything more that your administration can do about that $140 billion right now? >> the real question for our financial system suspect if some people succeed, it's if some people succeed while others are left behind. if we're not seeing the kind of lending we should to small businesses, if people are not carrying through on an aggressive program to mitigate foreclosures. >> spoken like the best and the brightest. unfortunately, other people are being left behind, ann. we have an unemployment rate going over 10%, at the same time the dow jones is going over 10. they're going in different directions. >> they made the case they had to save wall street to save main street and they stopped with the
5:59 pm
wall street part. it never translated. >> what's with this -- why are they playing defense for wall street? why is larry there defending such a huge amount of money being made on the street? >> larry is thinking about his ex-job after leaving the administration and going back to wall street. >> you said it. you don't know that. >> it's happened before. >> it's called the revolving door. >> the bottom line here is, this is not about being people left behind, the problem is you and i work in industries where you do well, they give you rewards and promotions. here you get rewarded for companies that fail. it doesn't make any sense to most people. people bankrupt the company, here's $16 billion on your way out the door. >> how do they get paid all this money if they're not doing well? somebody is doing well. >> in many cases the companies fail and to get rid of these people, they give them large amounts of money. >> is this going to hurt the president? are people